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Terry Francona reflects on use of pain pills

Former Red Sox manager Terry Francona addressed his use of pain killers in an interview with ESPN that aired Friday.

Interviewer Jeremy Schaap asked Francona how much reliance the former Sox skipper had on painkillers.

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“Less in my last year of Boston than it was in my first year,” Francona said. “I had some, I had accumulated some pain pills and that’s not good...”

When Schaap asked if he was self-medicating, Francona replied: “Yeah, and that’s not good and I understand that.”

Francona, who was an ESPN analyst last year, was discussing his new book -- “Francona: The Red Sox Years,” written with the Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy.

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Francona also discussed a comment by Red Sox chairman Tom Werner in the book where he said that the team needed to “start winning in a more exciting fashion.”

“I didn’t care if it was exciting or not,” Francona told Schapp. “In fact it was probably too exciting. ... I have to be consistent. If I’m consistent, I thought we were good enough to win. If I start going up and down like a roller coaster, our team’s going to be the same thing and it wouldn’t work.”

Excerpts from his book, which will be released Tuesday, appeared in Sports Illustrated this week and will be published in the Boston Globe on Jan. 27-29. In the memoir, Francona reveals that Red Sox ownership became more focused on the a “sexy” value to players to improve NESN television ratings. Francona and former Red Sox GM Theo Epstein were startled by the revelation.

“They told us we didn’t have any marketable players, that we needed some sizzle,” Epstein is quoted in the book. “We need some sexy guys. Talk about the tail wagging the dog. This is like an absurdist comedy. We’d become too big. It was the farthest removed from what we set out to be.”

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